arlier this week, Storm Debi swept across Ireland, leaving a trail of destruction including many fallen trees and coastal flooding in places. Over 100,000 households and businesses were without power but fortunately no lives were lost. Along with the storm came torrential rainfall causing severe flooding on most inland waters. Therefore, it is no big surprise that angling reports have been fairly scarce this week. However, we still received a fair number, mainly pike and some coarse fishing reports.

A common sight these days: Rivers in flood

But let’s start with sea angling…before Debi hit our coast, Killybegs Mariners SAC enjoyed some great beach action last weekend, catching good numbers of flatties on Streedagh Beach under the summit of mighty Benbulben. Last weekend also marked the final day of this year’s bluefin tuna season with Ewings Sea Angling & Boat Charters and Killybegs Fishing Trips giving a roundup of their season and reporting on their last day out tuna hunting this year.

One of the last bluefin tuna of this year’s season

Our final sea angling report this week comes from the east coast, where Kit Dunne of Wicklow Boat Charters continues to provide quality fishing for his clients throughout November making use of any break in the weather to get amongst the fish.

Quality tope from the east coast

Over to coarse fishing, where Munster Coarse Anglers report on the second match of their winter league fished at the O’Briensbridge rowing course. Further east, the Sensas Riverfest was held on the River Barrow at Monastarevin. Day one saw Andrew Burnett leading the way closely followed by Robbie Smithers in second and Trev Platt in third. At the end of day two, however, Trev Platt scooped first prize with 28 lbs. for the day leaving Robbie Smithers in second place, pipping Andrew Burnett in third by ounces.

Trev Platt on the River Barrow at Monasterevin
Trev Platt on the River Barrow at Monasterevin

Further matches were fished in Leitrim, Fermanagh and Monaghan. For results and detailed info on how the anglers got on at each venue check out our coarse fishing round-up.

For pike anglers we have a number of reports this week. Starting in Boyle, it was quality over quantity for Michael from Germany. Michael, who is a repeat guest of Angling Services Ireland topped his three-day visit with an impressive pike measuring 108cm. Staying in the Midlands, avid pike angler Barry ‘Fitz’ Fitzpatrick from Meath had a surprise capture when the same pike fell for his dead bait twice in the space of four hours!

The pike that took twice

Lawrence Peile from Co. Armagh was in touch to report a cracking pike session over the weekend just before Storm Debi hit the island. It was a fantastic day for Lawrence with two 20’s in the space of 10 minutes (best at 26 lbs.) followed by two more takes as the day progressed resulting in a 16 lbs. and an 18lbs. 8 oz fish. Without doubt, Lawrence’s red-letter day deserves to win our Catch of the Week! Well done Lawrence!

Lawrence with his 26lbs opener

Elsewhere, 15 members of the Limerick County Pike Angling Association (almost) drew blank on a Midlands canal venue, while Leinster Pike Anglers endured a drenching during the third leg of their winter league fished in Co. Cavan, but at least the fishing was good for the Leinster anglers.

For anglers pursuing pike with the fly rod, Peter Driver of Piscar-Fly has some valuable tips and tricks  in his current Piscary-Fly Newsletter.

Finishing off this week’s pike angling news, lure anglers might like to tune in to the latest short video by Norbert Renaud of L’ile Verte Pike Fishing Lodge on how to better balance your pike fishing lures.

During the closed season for brown trout Ireland’s rainbow trout fisheries provide great opportunities for trout anglers to pursue their passion during the winter months and to take a break from just casting. So did Dan O’Neill of South East Casting when he decided to head for Southern County Fishing Resort in Carlow to chase some well-fed rainbows. Check out Dan’s full report here.

Meanwhile at Annamoe Trout Fisheries, twenty anglers competed over four hours in the third qualifying heat of the Fly Fishing Winter League. Nicholas Madden won the event with a total of 9 trout, mostly taken on intermediate lines fishing buzzers and blood worm imitations.

Nicholas Madden with a chunky Annamoe rainbow

On this week’s episode of Ireland on the Fly, Daire and Tom are joined by Mike Cosgrave, the former coach and centre for Connacht who is also a passionate fly angler and who fished Corrib and Mask as a kid growing up.

Mike Cosgrave
Mike Cosgrave enjoying his passion on a Montana river

Flytying enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Jackie Mahon’s and Tom Doc Sullivan’s latest fly tying tutorial. This time, they tie a CDC Mayfly pattern which will perform well on Loughs Corrib, Arrow, Mask, Sheelin and Melvin but should also be an excellent choice for river mayfly fishing.

Glenda Powell has some great opportunities for anglers looking to get started in salmon angling, fine tune their cast and more. Activities include skagit, spey casting and a wet fly fishing for trout course to mention but a few.

Finally, a reminder to all the fly fishers and fly tiers out there that the Irish Fly Fair will take place this coming weekend at the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen. The fair will open from 10.00 – 17.00 on Saturday and 10.00 – 16.30 on Sunday.


In other news

Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, gives statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023, to provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1 January 2024. A copy of the draft regulations is open for public inspection at our the Department offices in Cavan. The closing date for submissions is 5.30pm on 15 December 2023.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is to provide more than €1 million in new grants to support fish, and their habitats, in rivers nationwide. Since 2016, IFI has given more than €6 million in grants to over 280 projects throughout the country under the programme. Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI)’s Habitats and Conservation funding call 2024 is now live, and expressions of interest can be made up to December 15th.

Riverbank habitat restoration works on the Stonyford River, Stonestown Co. Meath - showing recovery of riparian vegetation following fencing works.
Riverbank habitat restoration works on the Stonyford River, Stonestown Co. Meath – showing recovery of riparian vegetation following fencing works.

And now the weather…

Tonight, after a wet and blustery start, the rain will clear northeastwards through the night with clear spells and squally showers following from the west as fresh to strong southeast winds veer south to southwest by morning, moderating a bit. Lowest temperatures early in the night of 4 to 8 degrees, rising overnight to be in double figures by morning. The weekend will be breezy with widespread heavy or thundery showers, merging to longer spells of rain at times. Highest afternoon temperatures of 12 to 14 degrees in fresh southwest winds, stronger near coasts. The beginning of the week will see a continuation of the wet and windy conditions. However, current indications suggest drier conditions for the rest of the week as the winds ease.

That’s it for this week’s Irish angling Update, safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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